The bodies of the six Americans killed by Taliban attackers in Afghanistan Monday were due to arrive back in the U.S. on Wednesday after an emotional ceremony at Bagram Air Field.
Some U.S. servicemembers kneeled in front of the victims' photos, guns and helmets. Others saluted.
The six soldiers, one woman and five men, died when a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint NATO-Afghan patrol near Bagram. Two U.S. troops and an Afghan were also wounded in that attack -- the deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan since May 2013.
Pentagon officials said a dignified transfer of remains would take place at Dover Air Force Base.
Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, 28, was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. John Vela, now an Air Force staff sergeant based in Anchorage, Alaska, was on a high school football team with Cinco and they were in band together. "He had a really good head on his shoulders. He had a lot of ambition," Vela told KRGV-TV.
Staff Sgt. Louis Michael M. Bonacasa, 31, was assigned to the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. "He said this was going to be his last tour, and he was going to retire in a couple years," said a sister, Raquel Bonacasa, of Edgewater, New Jersey.
Staff Sgt. Chester J. McBride, Jr., 30, was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Ken LeCain, principal of Statesboro High School in Georgia, said in a statement posted on the school's Facebook page, "I will always remember him as a young man of high character with a great smile."
Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub, 30, was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 816 at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. He'd been in the service for eight years and had recently re-enlisted. His father said the sergeant didn't tell his family he was in Afghanistan because he didn't want them to worry about him. He said they learned his actual location when military officials notified them he'd been killed.
Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, 36, was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 9th Field Investigations Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Her father told The Associated Press his daughter "loved life" and "loved the military." Military Partners and Families Coalition, a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military families, issued a statement Tuesday mourning Vorderbruggen's death and praising the legacy she left behind.
Technical Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, 45, a 15-year veteran of the New York Police Department, was on his third tour of duty in the Middle East. He was assigned to the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. Although he left his hometown of Beemer, Nebraska decades ago, a message board in front of the village hall proclaimed him "Our Hometown Hero."
(Article and Information Courtesy of Fox News)
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